Gosh? Another one? Ash has been sifting though Danganronpa 2 on the PS Vita. Take a look at what he thought.
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (PS Vita)
It is term time again with a fresh batch of students ready to walk the halls of Hope’s Peak Academy, the ultimate school for ultimate students which is seen as a stepping stone for greatness in the community; though for those that have played before know this not to be quite true thanks to the evil presence of the head master, the malevolent Monokuma, a teddy bear with razor sharp teeth and a taste for the macabre.
Hope’s Peak Academy opens its doors once a year for 16 of the best students in their field, these ultimate’s range from the Ultimate Cook. The Ultimate Mechanic, the Ultimate Gymnast to the Ultimate Musician. You play through the eyes of Hajime Hinata and though he can remember he was always looking forward to becoming enrolled at the academy, of all of the Ultimate’s he is the only one who cannot remember who they are. What does not help is that as what the whole group believed was their first day at academy turned into a school trip hosted by a Monomi, another strange bear, but rather than the death and despair all she wants is love and hope. This of course soon changes with the appearance of Monokuma, reverting the peaceful rules to their more regular violent ones whereby no one can leave the island, the only way to do so is for someone to commit a murder and if they manage to get away with it during a class trial they will go free at the cost of all others getting punished; if however they are caught they alone will be punished; which in Monokuma’s terms means a very graphic and unusual death.
The actual gameplay in Danganronpa 2 is a mixture of an interactive digital story and a courtroom drama, the game starting with meeting and greeting fellow classmates and venturing around the island before the inevitable first death occurs which then you are granted time to investigate each area using the touch screen to tap on items that interest you and gather clues, the game then automatically progressing you to the class trial when you have enough information. During the class trial the aim is to debate, accuse and counter-accuse one another, your job being to filter though all of the lies and misinformation and eventually vote for the murder suspect. Here you will hear statements from numerous characters, leaving you to tap the screen to shoot truth bullets to destroy inconsistencies from the rest of the group, using your knowledge of what happened before and tips from the game to finally piece together what actually happened.
The class trials will go through varying stages as the sessions heat up, though most are simple variation of each other like slashing away at statements and counter arguing and even using truth bullets to confirm statements rather than shooting them down.
Though Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is a really interesting and original game to play it does come with a few issues, firstly being a digital story it can been a little unforgiving in its linear approach, with items you may have missed causing a real waste of time as the game will not progress without them. Also the logic of some of the arguments during the class trails can be a real cause of stress with some truth bullets being a little too vague and at times guess work coming into play.
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair manages to be a gripping, thrilling and funny title that keeps you guessing through its entirety with a solid story and plenty of smaller game modes to enjoy along the way.
Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: PS Vita)
+ A great looking interactive story
+ Plenty of vocal tracks.
+ Tamagotchi style digital pet to look after.
- Very linear to the point it can be hard to figure out what the game is looking for to progress.